In todays episode we’re joined with Robert Berry to discuss how to ask better questions. By asking better questions we will end up getting better answers which will allow us to perform better audits.

From overcoming the fear of looking stupid or the fear of failing, to taking an interest in the people around you, you will be able to communicate better with others and thus ask better questions and advance your career!

To get all of the secrets for how to ask better questions, get better answers, and perform better audits, get a copy of Robert’s book at: reach out to him on LinkedIn or through his website:

Listen in at:


00:00:01.439 –> 00:00:10.800
Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jason hey today we’re going to be talking about something that really should be common sense.

00:00:11.340 –> 00:00:17.490
Jason Mefford: But the reason we’re talking about it is it’s not common sense right people don’t actually apply it.

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Jason Mefford: The way they should and today i’m going to be talking with Robert berry and we’re going to be talking about how to ask better questions get better answers and consequently help you perform better audits so with that let’s roll that episode.

00:00:37.500 –> 00:00:48.810
Jason Mefford: hey Robert it’s great to have you here man, you know I I say this is, I mean you even said it before is before we got started right hey what we’re going to talk about today should be common sense and it should be.

00:00:51.360 –> 00:00:57.420
Robert Berry: It should be, but I tell you what my grandmother used to say if common sense will come and everybody would have it.

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Jason Mefford: Well, I know you know I love the you know.

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Jason Mefford: I wanted to sit down and just be with your grandma for a while, because you’ve got some great grandma quotes.

00:01:07.830 –> 00:01:15.990
Jason Mefford: it’s you know it’s the same thing I remember my first day I think it was undergrad management course in college.

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Jason Mefford: Right and that’s what the Professor said he said all semester we’re just going to be talking about common sense, so why do we, why are we talking about it, because people don’t practice common sense.

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Robert Berry: Absolutely.

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Jason Mefford: So let’s get into I know that you, you wrote a recent book called ask better questions get better answers and perform better audits and so i’m excited to get into that because.

00:01:42.360 –> 00:01:59.550
Jason Mefford: i’m Like you, I think you know, the quality of our life is really dependent on how good a questions we ask and a lot of times we don’t really get taught how to ask good questions so where should we start where should we jump in on this and have some fun today together.

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Robert Berry: You know Okay, so we can start with why in the world, do we not ask good questions.

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Robert Berry: There are a lot of barriers, I think the biggest barrier, though, is fear.

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Robert Berry: I think we fear being judged, we fear people thinking that we’re stupid, we fear that people will look at us a certain way.

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Robert Berry: And I think that’s one of the biggest barriers that we have to asking questions, especially for those auditors who are fresh out of school.

00:02:34.740 –> 00:02:48.360
Robert Berry: Especially for those fresh out of school working for one of the big firms, because oftentimes what they do is they say go to the client and show up here your objectives and now you’re just thrown to the wolves so.

00:02:49.890 –> 00:03:01.590
Robert Berry: You have to first remove fear from people and I tell people all the time there’s more to asking questions than just asking questions it’s a whole lot more to it.

00:03:02.310 –> 00:03:18.450
Robert Berry: And that fear once you once it sets even if you don’t have someone to encourage you then you’ll be stuck for a few years in your career paralyzed with fear, so the question becomes, how do you overcome it.

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Jason Mefford: Well, and I, because I know you were talking about you know, especially entry level people.

00:03:24.300 –> 00:03:28.050
Jason Mefford: Oh yeah, but I see it, a lot too and working with chief out of the executives.

00:03:28.050 –> 00:03:35.550
Jason Mefford: Because it’s kind of a different level of fear, at that point, it still goes back to that root cause that you brought up, which is.

00:03:35.910 –> 00:03:44.490
Jason Mefford: Well, if I asked questions don’t I look stupid and like I don’t know what i’m talking about right and people fear that in fact that’s one of the two.

00:03:45.150 –> 00:04:06.480
Jason Mefford: Big psychological fears that people have subconsciously is is it kind of goes back to that imposter syndrome right that if I asked questions than that assumes I don’t know something, and people are going to find out that maybe i’m not as smart, as I want them to think I am.

00:04:08.970 –> 00:04:13.110
Robert Berry: But it begs the question what is wrong with not knowing something.

00:04:13.530 –> 00:04:14.850
Jason Mefford: Absolutely nothing.

00:04:15.630 –> 00:04:25.470
Robert Berry: Right what is wrong with not know, and this is, this is what I tell people and you’re right, it does extend the chief audit executive to anyone.

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Robert Berry: But here’s the deal, if you don’t know something but you’re smart enough to recognize that you don’t know it, and then you seek out the answer doesn’t that make you smart.

00:04:39.720 –> 00:04:45.240
Jason Mefford: Well, it doesn’t it show people that you’re willing to learn as well and you’re not an arrogant prick.

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Jason Mefford: On the other side too, I mean when you think about it the other way right.

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Jason Mefford: yeah if you’re never asking questions, could you feel like you always know it.

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Jason Mefford: doesn’t that make you seem like a know it all to other people to.

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Jason Mefford: Exactly, and I think that’s just as bad or worse than having people realize that you don’t know everything.

00:05:06.600 –> 00:05:26.310
Robert Berry: yeah it is and and well without without giving it all away even in the book I cover the five critical elements to quality questions, so I think that there are five elements every question should have, in order for it to be effective i’m not gonna give the secret away.

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Jason Mefford: You got to go to work.

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Robert Berry: Right right, but I do think that fear is the biggest barrier, I even cover barriers to asking good questions and the number one barrier that I see with all of us.

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Robert Berry: Is that fear of looking stupid or that fear of not being good enough for or that fear of not knowing, but if you think about the entire job of an auditor is to ask questions How else can you do an objective assessment if you don’t ask questions.

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Robert Berry: If you know it all then that’s not really objective because you’re going in with your preconceived thoughts and your preconceived notion about an organization or department or even a person so.

00:06:10.500 –> 00:06:21.450
Robert Berry: But, but you know you have to get over that fear don’t worry about what people think about you, who cares if they whisper he didn’t know what whatever was you know so.

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Jason Mefford: But how do I mean because, again, you know, like you said.

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Jason Mefford: Fear is probably one of one of, if not the biggest thing holding us back from asking questions, how do we get over that fear.

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Robert Berry: Well, I think the first thing is, you have to embrace failure fear comes about because people don’t want to fail at something they don’t want to fail at looking smart.

00:06:49.350 –> 00:07:09.090
Robert Berry: or they don’t want to fail at their job when you are not afraid to fail, the fear just kind of dissipates because now that’s the biggest fear that people have is failure of something, and if you embrace it and recognize that it’s an opportunity to learn, then what can scare you.

00:07:10.650 –> 00:07:18.420
Robert Berry: And a lot of times, people will try to use tactics to scare you into doing things that they want you to do.

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Robert Berry: I remember.

00:07:22.980 –> 00:07:24.420
Robert Berry: I remember having.

00:07:25.830 –> 00:07:40.020
Robert Berry: an audit client who was high up in an organization was unhappy with the results of the audit now somehow That was my fault, because one of his employees was stealing and the audit caught it but somehow That was my fault right.

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Robert Berry: Okay, was unhappy with the results of the audit and try to threaten me in order to get me to remove specific items from the audit port and the.

00:07:54.120 –> 00:08:04.980
Robert Berry: On a real, serious note what was said to me, was extremely the grading and was supposed to be something that was supposed to make me afraid, but he said.

00:08:05.640 –> 00:08:20.940
Robert Berry: Well, you know you do need this job don’t you, you know, in one of those times like I can have your job, you can be fired and whoo I was supposed to be afraid i’m now tell you what I said to him.

00:08:23.070 –> 00:08:29.820
Robert Berry: What I said to him, probably frightened him more than the fear, he was trying to impose on me, but I actually meant it.

00:08:30.480 –> 00:08:39.300
Robert Berry: I said to him, you know you can make threats, you can try to take away my livelihood, but it really doesn’t matter I can find another job.

00:08:39.600 –> 00:08:51.000
Robert Berry: And besides there’s nothing that you can do to scare me I grew up in the hood where I saw people being murdered shot and stabbed so there’s nothing you can show me and so.

00:08:51.450 –> 00:09:00.240
Robert Berry: When he saw that there was no fear in me he left me alone i’m not saying go tell us to go tell a gangster story to your your audit clients.

00:09:00.360 –> 00:09:02.520
Jason Mefford: Especially if you what if you didn’t go through that.

00:09:02.880 –> 00:09:05.520
Robert Berry: Right right but, but I do think to.

00:09:07.050 –> 00:09:19.800
Robert Berry: A lot of the times, having not having fear of certain things helped me in my career, but also when I have been afraid I in hindsight, I see where it is hindered me.

00:09:20.460 –> 00:09:27.060
Robert Berry: um you know I i’ve been at a high level in audit, since I was in my mid 20s I just thought.

00:09:27.570 –> 00:09:34.800
Robert Berry: My career progression was normal I didn’t realize, most people don’t progress like that, but a lot of it was because.

00:09:35.430 –> 00:09:45.750
Robert Berry: You know, when you grow up seeing some of the things that I saw you you don’t really have that much fear you you’re not afraid to ask questions you don’t care if people think you’re stupid you just don’t care.

00:09:46.200 –> 00:09:51.990
Robert Berry: Because you’ve seen the worst that LIFE has to offer so there’s nothing anyone can do or say that makes you afraid at this point.

00:09:53.430 –> 00:09:55.620
Jason Mefford: Well it’s interesting because you know.

00:09:57.660 –> 00:10:05.280
Jason Mefford: I don’t know if you’ve heard this before, but you know fear is can also be false expectations appearing real right some people will.

00:10:05.700 –> 00:10:21.300
Jason Mefford: Will kind of break it down into an acronym like that, because you know, again, I mean you shared the story about the guy really kind of threatening you, you need this job don’t you well you know, at the end of the day, if you lose your job you’re not dead right.

00:10:21.630 –> 00:10:30.480
Jason Mefford: Right you’re not dead, so you go find another job what’s The worst thing that can actually happen, maybe you have to go find a new job okay.

00:10:31.140 –> 00:10:41.580
Jason Mefford: Right it’s not the end of the world and that’s where you know, again, I mean like you said, I think this is a great great quote, that you know, we need to embrace failure.

00:10:42.210 –> 00:10:54.030
Jason Mefford: and realize or see it as an opportunity to learn right, one of the things that i’ve always been taught is there is no failure, there is only feedback.

00:10:55.260 –> 00:11:08.040
Jason Mefford: And as long as you’re willing, a cow i’ll muffle up the Winston Churchill quote but it was you know something about that you, you never really fail unless you don’t get up again yeah.

00:11:08.220 –> 00:11:10.440
Jason Mefford: Right, as long as you’re still getting up.

00:11:11.130 –> 00:11:25.710
Jason Mefford: You haven’t failed now you’ve figured out if you got pushed to the ground hey that way doesn’t work, maybe i’m going to do it, a different way going forward, but you haven’t failed if you’re continuing to try right.

00:11:26.250 –> 00:11:29.610
Robert Berry: yeah well and i’ll take a different approach to it to.

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Robert Berry: The only real failure is not trying at all, and you know, to give an example, I remember, years ago, so, so I grew up in the southeastern United States and had not really seen mountains or anything like that, and many, many, many years ago.

00:11:49.380 –> 00:11:51.270
Robert Berry: I worked for Deloitte and had.

00:11:51.840 –> 00:12:02.760
Robert Berry: had the opportunity to travel a lot and on those travel weekends, you could either go back home or you could go anywhere, as long as the price was cheaper than going back home.

00:12:03.540 –> 00:12:13.890
Robert Berry: And I would explore the country I would go places by myself and just go one place, I always love was Denver, and I remember the first time I saw a mountain.

00:12:14.970 –> 00:12:19.920
Robert Berry: You know, Big Mountain covered with snow and people skiing down it really, really fast.

00:12:22.410 –> 00:12:24.870
Jason Mefford: that’s a foreign concept for the southeastern us.

00:12:25.350 –> 00:12:26.820
Robert Berry: Right so.

00:12:27.930 –> 00:12:43.290
Robert Berry: i’m standing down at the bottom of this just a small mountain and we were going to go mountain climbing i’d never been mountain climbing before and i’m looking up and i’m thinking yeah I don’t think I really want to do is, but then I thought about it.

00:12:44.850 –> 00:12:51.630
Robert Berry: Even if I just took one step up the mountain that’s still a success because the point of failure.

00:12:52.230 –> 00:13:04.920
Robert Berry: is right there where you’re standing there trying to make that critical decision if you walk away then you’ve actually failed, but if you cross that line you automatically cross the point of failure so.

00:13:05.640 –> 00:13:17.100
Robert Berry: The only point of failure is not starting at all as soon as you start you’ve crossed the failure point you’ve crossed that failure line and I just I keep thinking about that, so I did climb that mountain.

00:13:18.480 –> 00:13:24.720
Robert Berry: It was cold, it was interesting, but I did it and I didn’t get very high.

00:13:26.010 –> 00:13:33.120
Robert Berry: But as soon as I made took that first step failure was gone it’s not failure anymore, because at least tried.

00:13:34.230 –> 00:13:36.750
Jason Mefford: Well, and a lot of times, I know I know for me personally.

00:13:37.890 –> 00:13:46.560
Jason Mefford: Some of the things that i’ve been the most scared of or the most afraid of what i’ve actually done it and i’ve accomplished it.

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Jason Mefford: Man the sense of euphoria and and the sense the feeling of success that you get from going through some of those experiences is indescribable.

00:13:58.620 –> 00:14:08.700
Jason Mefford: Right, I mean it’s it’s like indescribable, but if you never take that first step, you never get to see what that feels like either right.

00:14:09.630 –> 00:14:24.930
Jason Mefford: So Okay, so we got to get rid of fear, we got to you know quit thinking that asking questions means that we’re stupid or we don’t know what we’re talking about what are some other things that people need to do to kind of start asking better questions.

00:14:26.250 –> 00:14:39.390
Robert Berry: Well, I think one big thing is, you have to get to know people and one example I use is in his book how to click rick kirshner.

00:14:39.930 –> 00:14:50.850
Robert Berry: He said that there are three things that we know about people before they even open their mouths and watch i’m going to forget one of them, because we didn’t practice this now.

00:14:51.510 –> 00:14:52.230
Robert Berry: We didn’t but.

00:14:52.530 –> 00:14:55.770
Robert Berry: But the first thing he says is that people.

00:14:56.880 –> 00:14:58.260
Robert Berry: like to hear themselves talk.

00:14:59.370 –> 00:15:11.280
Robert Berry: which you know we all do, and then he said that people are drawn to people who listen to them and, of course, yeah forgot the third one.

00:15:11.850 –> 00:15:30.390
Robert Berry: But, in essence, he was saying, when you get to know people and you take an interest in them, then it makes it easier for you to communicate with those folks and and I love that book I think i’ve read it three times because you, the more comfortable people are with you.

00:15:32.190 –> 00:15:43.110
Robert Berry: The more apt, they are to answer to answer questions that you ask and the more comfortable, they are with you, the better the answers that they will give so for auditors.

00:15:43.650 –> 00:15:55.500
Robert Berry: You know a lot of times, the only time we see clients is when it’s time for an audit it doesn’t make sense start walking around don’t be confined to your cubicle or to your zoom nowadays.

00:15:55.620 –> 00:15:56.550
Jason Mefford: Your zoom chair.

00:15:57.060 –> 00:16:05.010
Robert Berry: yeah your zoom chair get to know them walk around and meet them talk to them and, and I say in every company.

00:16:05.880 –> 00:16:11.670
Robert Berry: You always have like some sub industry right, you have the huge industry that you’re in, but you have sub industries.

00:16:12.150 –> 00:16:18.330
Robert Berry: Follow the news related to those sub industries, and when you see something that intrigued you shoot your client and email.

00:16:18.570 –> 00:16:25.500
Robert Berry: hey I saw that this new law is going to change how’s that going to affect you guys spark a conversation with them, or just asked.

00:16:26.100 –> 00:16:35.730
Robert Berry: hey I saw this new law has changed, do you guys need some help with anything if the only time your clients see you, is when you’re doing, and I mean you’re doing something wrong.

00:16:37.350 –> 00:16:46.980
Jason Mefford: Well, and because I mean that goes back to classic relationship kind of building to right is if the only time somebody sees you are the only time that someone calls you.

00:16:47.580 –> 00:16:53.340
Jason Mefford: Is when they need something well you haven’t really developed a relationship with that person right.

00:16:53.910 –> 00:17:06.930
Jason Mefford: And i’m sure everybody who’s listening, you know when I say you know there’s people that are givers and there’s people that are takers and i’m sure, a lot of names pop into your head, you know, I have some family members as an example.

00:17:07.320 –> 00:17:17.490
Jason Mefford: yeah that only text or call me when they want something right so obviously when they’re calling, and they want something, but they haven’t taken any time.

00:17:18.030 –> 00:17:27.870
Jason Mefford: To strengthen or develop the relationship with me beforehand, the answer is usually no right, because then I feel used.

00:17:28.380 –> 00:17:35.010
Jason Mefford: You know I feel like they’re just take take take take taking and and that’s not how we want to do so that’s a great.

00:17:35.610 –> 00:17:42.990
Jason Mefford: Great suggestion for people to actually reach out it’s a way to ask questions, but in in the way that you’re doing it to it also helps you.

00:17:43.440 –> 00:17:58.590
Jason Mefford: In kind of understanding hey there’s this new law, how we did have you guys heard about it, what are you planning to do, and if the answer is no and no ding ding ding right well there might be another risk in your organization that you should consider taking a look at.

00:17:59.460 –> 00:18:10.650
Robert Berry: When the other benefit of doing that is now you get to you get to do what I call, one of the best audits to do one of the best audits to do is the audit that you never have to do.

00:18:11.220 –> 00:18:25.350
Robert Berry: So you’re up front here, and you guys are working through an issue you can check that off as an insurance engagement, because now you’ve done some work to help them mitigate the risk, without having to come in and doing do an audit.

00:18:25.770 –> 00:18:38.250
Robert Berry: And there’s so many benefits to that because, first of all those engagements are actually shorter than audit engagements and they build goodwill with your clients, so I think that’s extremely important.

00:18:38.820 –> 00:18:47.550
Jason Mefford: Well, and i’m guessing to you know kind of back to the three things that you were talking about the people that we know about people right they like to hear themselves talk.

00:18:48.150 –> 00:18:56.490
Jason Mefford: And we’re drawn to people that actually listened to us, I think those are two things that can be very easily applied to what we’re talking about right.

00:18:56.790 –> 00:19:04.620
Jason Mefford: Because I know I was always taught if you don’t know anything about somebody like if you go to a cocktail party or something like that, where it’s just.

00:19:05.640 –> 00:19:08.760
Jason Mefford: they’re awkward, especially for those of us that are introverts right.

00:19:09.030 –> 00:19:12.360
Jason Mefford: yeah well if you don’t know what to talk about ask a question.

00:19:13.080 –> 00:19:26.490
Jason Mefford: about the other person and and that should get them talking because, again, people like to talk about themselves, even though none of us like to admit it, we all do, to a certain extent.

00:19:27.330 –> 00:19:39.510
Jason Mefford: And then, by by actively listening to what they’re saying using some of these follow up reframe questions along the way people feel heard.

00:19:40.230 –> 00:19:54.810
Jason Mefford: And because they feel heard they actually deepen or or have a connection with you because they feel validated it’s actually a way to develop the relationship and deepen it as well.

00:19:55.110 –> 00:20:00.900
Robert Berry: So absolutely and I just remember the third thing The third thing was people.

00:20:02.640 –> 00:20:06.450
Robert Berry: Oh people want to be heard and understood.

00:20:07.020 –> 00:20:14.400
Robert Berry: uh huh so but funny story you say about when you’re at a party you just ask people questions okay so.

00:20:15.480 –> 00:20:18.510
Robert Berry: I remember again back in the day when I worked for Deloitte.

00:20:20.070 –> 00:20:27.210
Robert Berry: I had never been to like big swanky business parties, but when you work in public accounting.

00:20:27.450 –> 00:20:28.620
Robert Berry: that’s more of a job.

00:20:29.160 –> 00:20:35.100
Robert Berry: yeah so I remember the first big swanky shindig we went to.

00:20:35.700 –> 00:20:46.650
Robert Berry: I had no idea what to talk about with people you know there were people talking about their money their boats their yachts like Okay, well, I have none of that i’ve seen them on TV, but I have none of that.

00:20:47.160 –> 00:20:56.490
Robert Berry: And I remember it well, and then, believe it or not, I was a shy introvert i’m still a rather shy introverted can’t your tail but.

00:20:57.960 –> 00:21:13.590
Robert Berry: But at the party I remember I kept saying the same three or four questions over and over again, I would say so tell me about you and then, when they would start talking I would shake my head and listen and I would say.

00:21:14.250 –> 00:21:25.800
Robert Berry: That sounds interesting and then they would say more, and then I would say, oh boy, that is exciting and I was being genuine the things that they were saying really were excited.

00:21:25.830 –> 00:21:28.560
Jason Mefford: You weren’t sarcastic and they were like Richard over slapping you.

00:21:28.560 –> 00:21:31.260
Robert Berry: Right right I wasn’t being sarcastic but.

00:21:31.710 –> 00:21:33.210
Robert Berry: What ended up happening was.

00:21:34.350 –> 00:21:44.670
Robert Berry: They went back and told the partners that I was the most interesting person that they’d ever met and I promised you I did not share a detail about my life with any of them.

00:21:45.360 –> 00:21:57.270
Robert Berry: And that’s when it started clicking the meals quite a bit and I didn’t do anything I just asked them about themselves because I didn’t know what to do now, thankfully, that looked good to the partners.

00:21:57.990 –> 00:22:18.360
Robert Berry: For me, but I didn’t do anything I didn’t disclose anything, it was just really you do this oh wow tell me more about that that is so interesting how did you end up doing this means this person after person after person now I can laugh at it, because I didn’t know what I was doing.

00:22:18.570 –> 00:22:27.390
Jason Mefford: Well, and i’m gonna have to cut you there and actually give you some props of because, again, you were a little self deprecating there were you said I didn’t do anything.

00:22:27.960 –> 00:22:37.140
Jason Mefford: Are you kidding me Robert you did the thing that’s probably the hardest thing that most people don’t do, which is actually listened.

00:22:38.490 –> 00:22:40.230
Robert Berry: I had no idea when I was.

00:22:41.640 –> 00:22:42.480
Robert Berry: The funny part.

00:22:44.790 –> 00:22:50.310
Robert Berry: Even I can’t even I shouldn’t even get props for it because I had no idea what I was doing not you know.

00:22:52.860 –> 00:22:54.630
Jason Mefford: Well, but see again you learned right.

00:22:54.990 –> 00:23:02.820
Jason Mefford: yeah and again, you know from that you know you learn that work there i’m sure you’ve done that other times in your life too right.

00:23:03.240 –> 00:23:05.460
Robert Berry: Oh yeah oh yeah since then yeah multiple.

00:23:07.320 –> 00:23:17.820
Jason Mefford: Well, in to me it’s you know I I i’m a lifelong learner i’m just curious, and so I loved you know, the same thing when I would go to go travel I loved hanging.

00:23:18.240 –> 00:23:24.120
Jason Mefford: out down in the lobby or the bars in the hotel or out front, you know you always meet really interesting people.

00:23:24.630 –> 00:23:33.930
Jason Mefford: And just start striking up a conversation and i’ll tell you I learned some fascinating things again just from asking a few questions letting people talk.

00:23:34.380 –> 00:23:41.580
Jason Mefford: I mean, but just some really interesting people some little trivia stuff i’ve gotten the back of my head for jeopardy if I ever go on there.

00:23:42.180 –> 00:23:54.690
Jason Mefford: that’ll probably come out but to me it’s just fascinating I love actually learning from people and listening to them talk, but the only way I can benefit from that, as if I actually asked him some questions, too.

00:23:55.200 –> 00:24:03.780
Robert Berry: Absolutely well and I think is auditors to, we need to recognize that you can learn from anyone in the organization.

00:24:04.290 –> 00:24:12.600
Robert Berry: You don’t you don’t only learn from people in certain positions of authority you learn from any and everyone, and one thing I learned is.

00:24:13.050 –> 00:24:19.260
Robert Berry: The best source of information is the administrative assistant in the office I don’t care what office, it is.

00:24:19.620 –> 00:24:31.200
Robert Berry: That administrative assistant is a wealth of knowledge and if he or she can’t tell you directly, what you need to know they know who to call so that’s the first person you make friends with.

00:24:32.280 –> 00:24:42.210
Jason Mefford: Well it’s funny because, as you were talking it’s because we can learn from anybody and sometimes it’s the people that you would least expect, so the this.

00:24:43.830 –> 00:24:55.290
Jason Mefford: it’s on topic, but off topic right, it is you were talking there, I was just thinking about one of the experiences that I had where we going out to one of the factories that we were auditing and we were we were looking at some of the operational stuff and they just.

00:24:55.800 –> 00:25:05.850
Jason Mefford: I think they just spent like 25 grand building like this arrays stainless steel platform with steps up and handrails and everything.

00:25:06.540 –> 00:25:18.540
Jason Mefford: near this this part of the manufacturing line where we were at, and so I was just sitting there kind of watching the product go through, because i’m nerdy that way I like watching stuff get made.

00:25:19.170 –> 00:25:26.760
Jason Mefford: and talking to the person who was the line worker on there about oh yeah you know it looks like you got you just got this new thing it’s.

00:25:27.180 –> 00:25:34.620
Jason Mefford: it’s Nice, what do you think about it, and she says well you know they came and asked me about it and I told him that we really didn’t need it.

00:25:35.010 –> 00:25:42.450
Jason Mefford: Because, all I needed was kind of like a little box over here because I just need to step up every so often to be able to check this one thing.

00:25:43.080 –> 00:25:50.280
Jason Mefford: But the rest of the time it was fine I don’t know why we spent all this money actually doing this, they didn’t actually listen to me.

00:25:51.000 –> 00:26:07.080
Jason Mefford: And I thought wow you know how many times, does that actually happen, where you know they asked her questions, but they didn’t actually listen and we probably you know spent a bunch of money that we didn’t necessarily need to.

00:26:07.800 –> 00:26:23.130
Jason Mefford: because she was one that I already knew right and so like you said, people like executive assistants other people like that oh man they know they know what’s going on and they see the things that are going on and having conversations with a lot of.

00:26:24.270 –> 00:26:29.520
Jason Mefford: them is actually where you can learn some of the most important information yeah.

00:26:29.580 –> 00:26:49.170
Robert Berry: And it’s it’s unfortunate that stuff like that happens, and I can, I can say that a majority of the time in my career when there have been issues it truly has been because the people in charge didn’t listen to the people actually doing the work performing the processes.

00:26:50.700 –> 00:26:59.310
Robert Berry: I I can’t throughout my career, I think we have helped companies save more than $10 million I just stopped counting.

00:26:59.790 –> 00:27:13.320
Robert Berry: And in in almost every instance, all we did was go and talk to the person performing the function and they literally told us what the problem was, and then we translate it that in communicated it back up to somebody who was in.

00:27:14.790 –> 00:27:18.540
Robert Berry: They could have just walked over to that very same person and ask the question.

00:27:19.920 –> 00:27:27.030
Robert Berry: it’s sometimes you feel bad that that’s your job and that’s why people were paying you but you know you it’s.

00:27:28.290 –> 00:27:39.330
Jason Mefford: Well, and it’s funny because you’re saying that too i’m even thinking about personal relationships right, you know we can assume right, you know how to spell us in which we.

00:27:39.360 –> 00:27:40.470
Jason Mefford: don’t want to do right.

00:27:42.420 –> 00:27:52.500
Jason Mefford: Or we can just actually ask people right because, again, I mean, even in personal relationships think significant other children, you know, whatever family remembers.

00:27:53.130 –> 00:28:03.840
Jason Mefford: How much of the time, are we making assumptions are we thinking you know certain things are going on we’re making conclusions about it we’re maybe feeling bad or whatever.

00:28:04.410 –> 00:28:13.440
Jason Mefford: And if we just have the courage to ask the question we’d actually figure out what it is and half the time it didn’t even relate to us.

00:28:13.800 –> 00:28:22.410
Jason Mefford: Right right, so we get into all this fear and anxiety, a lot of times it doesn’t even need to be there just because we didn’t ask a question.

00:28:23.580 –> 00:28:38.250
Robert Berry: yeah well and nowadays fear and anxiety wow nowadays, most people a field with both, and it makes it very difficult because nowadays, even when you ask the question.

00:28:38.670 –> 00:28:49.080
Robert Berry: If the other person doesn’t know how to seek clarity or they don’t know how to respond, honestly, then you end up trapped in this conundrum of.

00:28:49.350 –> 00:28:54.090
Robert Berry: you’re trying to ask questions but you’re not getting the answers because you’re dealing with someone who has.

00:28:54.900 –> 00:29:06.420
Robert Berry: A very interesting personality that’s not rooted in the truth and they’re trying to figure out why you’re asking the question, even though you’re being directly honest with them, and so you get into these Games, where.

00:29:07.110 –> 00:29:14.670
Robert Berry: they’re not really hearing your question, even though you’re asking it and they’re answering something by anticipating what it is that they think you’re asking and.

00:29:17.670 –> 00:29:20.010
Robert Berry: Yes, the questioning conundrum.

00:29:20.520 –> 00:29:28.170
Jason Mefford: It is well i’m just like every time I do one of these podcasts I can’t believe how fast the time has actually gone so I know.

00:29:29.220 –> 00:29:29.550
Jason Mefford: Right.

00:29:30.900 –> 00:29:31.470
Jason Mefford: So.

00:29:32.370 –> 00:29:46.920
Jason Mefford: You know, maybe some some final thoughts are some things that we should you know, make sure to impart with people or leave with them to as as far as how they can ask some of these better question so they can improve, improve the quality of life, and I should perform better audits.

00:29:47.760 –> 00:29:55.170
Robert Berry: yeah So the first thing is, it will first, there are three things you must know about questions number one.

00:29:56.130 –> 00:30:00.270
Robert Berry: Asking questions is the hardest thing that you have to do in your entire life.

00:30:01.260 –> 00:30:09.840
Robert Berry: You always have to ask questions as children, you ask your parents like to go outside to go on a field trip to spend a night over someone else’s house.

00:30:10.230 –> 00:30:22.140
Robert Berry: as adults, you ask employers to hire you, by way of filling out a job job posting job application so you have to ask questions but it’s the most difficult thing that you’ll ever have to do.

00:30:22.620 –> 00:30:31.140
Robert Berry: But the second thing is you can’t avoid it it’s inescapable so you cannot you cannot avoid asking questions.

00:30:31.890 –> 00:30:40.350
Robert Berry: The third thing is, though, it’s also irreversible once you get it out there you can’t just take it back.

00:30:40.950 –> 00:30:49.230
Robert Berry: So it’s important that you learn some good techniques that can help you formulate better questions.

00:30:50.190 –> 00:30:57.330
Robert Berry: Because again there’s more to asking questions than just asking questions don’t think that just because you have an audit charter.

00:30:57.720 –> 00:31:04.980
Robert Berry: That gives you, you know, the ability to ask good questions and gives you the authority, but not the ability so.

00:31:05.790 –> 00:31:24.300
Robert Berry: Just remember that it’s a muscle, you have to use it, you have to exercise it and you will get better at it, you will never ever be perfect some days you’ll hit it off with one person, the next day you bomb with that very same person so keep those things in mind and just work the muscle.

00:31:24.840 –> 00:31:29.700
Jason Mefford: yeah well like you said, I mean we’ve got that we have to do it, we can’t avoid it.

00:31:30.450 –> 00:31:36.330
Jason Mefford: And you know this whole point about it being irreversible when you first said that I was kind of like Where are you going with that, but.

00:31:36.870 –> 00:31:48.060
Jason Mefford: Again, then all these different things flashed in front of my mind of different experiences that i’ve had before, and sometimes you know, once you say something you can’t take it back.

00:31:48.840 –> 00:31:54.510
Jason Mefford: And so you know, like you said, this is something that everybody can learn that’s why you wrote a book on it.

00:31:54.660 –> 00:31:57.270
Jason Mefford: Right exactly we do training on it.

00:31:57.660 –> 00:32:09.420
Jason Mefford: So that so that people can actually learn, because you know I truly believe the better that we get at asking questions and the more questions we ask in the right way.

00:32:09.930 –> 00:32:22.140
Jason Mefford: our quality of life, goes up the quality of life of people around us goes up, we can do our job easier, we have less of that fear and anxiety that so many people are strapped with as well.

00:32:22.920 –> 00:32:35.550
Jason Mefford: And you know, again we don’t we make mistakes along the way, but the more you know that you’re that you’re actually trying it that you’re practicing it you’re getting that feedback and you’re learning.

00:32:36.030 –> 00:32:42.390
Jason Mefford: And so next time it’s just that much easier right and the more you do it, the easier it gets.

00:32:43.110 –> 00:32:44.040

00:32:45.120 –> 00:32:46.440
Jason Mefford: i’m guessing you agree with that right.

00:32:47.160 –> 00:32:48.480

00:32:49.680 –> 00:32:50.670
Robert Berry: That was a good question.

00:32:50.850 –> 00:32:52.590
Jason Mefford: That was a good question was that a good question.

00:32:54.720 –> 00:33:00.480
Jason Mefford: Like I said I mean there’s we could spend a lot of time on here, but again it’s it’s you know you’ve got the book about it.

00:33:02.160 –> 00:33:13.980
Jason Mefford: yeah and yeah I mean go get the book read it, and start practicing start start doing stuff because you know again you’re not going to get very far if you don’t ask the questions.

00:33:16.920 –> 00:33:17.160
Jason Mefford: So.

00:33:18.270 –> 00:33:27.030
Jason Mefford: All right, well, Robert, thank you for taking the time again, everybody will will put up in the show notes, but ask better questions get better answers perform better audits.

00:33:27.750 –> 00:33:36.030
Jason Mefford: Is a book that will help you get a lot more information about this and help you start flexing your question muscle, I guess, we call it or.

00:33:36.840 –> 00:33:38.250
Jason Mefford: Whatever you call it right.

00:33:41.340 –> 00:33:46.890
Jason Mefford: Alright, well, thanks in your website where people can get Ahold of you what’s easiest website for people to be able to reach you at.

00:33:47.670 –> 00:34:01.110
Robert Berry: www dot that audit that audit guide COM i’m always on linkedin as well, you can find me there, and thank you very much for having me on jamming with Jason.

00:34:01.410 –> 00:34:02.970
Jason Mefford: Oh you’re welcome Robert Thank you.

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